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Why Pray?
October 9

For a few years now, I have been critical of prayer. Not praying so much, but why people do it. I was fed up with the emails that promised that a prayer would be answered if it was forwarded on to a certain number of people. Or this idea that praying was something you did like paying your mortgage or taking out the trash, as if praying was something that we checked off a list. I hated how it felt like prayer had been turned into a Magic 8 Ball or that praying had turned God into a genie in a lamp. We wanted God to show up and grant our wishes (I mean our prayers) and then go away. There's got to be more to prayer than this.                                                                   

On Sunday, Andrew Rickel, the pastor for Georgia Tech's Lutheran/Episcopal campus ministry, preached at Epiphany. One thing he said that really got my attention was when he talked about the churches in the area that support and pray for this ministry and the individuals that it serves. He says it has the same impact on the students that drop by Grace House for a free cup of coffee. This idea that random people care about them, are thinking about them, and hope the best for them, kind of messes with these students of above average intelligence. Why would someone who we do not know care about us and support us?  Well, I guess that's what the church is supposed to do. When someone is praying for these students at Tech, the prayer isn't that they win the lottery or are invincible from harm, but it keeps them in the forefront of their mind and overtime that begins to change what they think about, care about, and invest in.  

So, what are you praying for? Are you doing the Magic 8 Ball prayer? Have you turned God into a genie in a lamp? Is prayer something to check off a list, or do your prayers have a little more depth? If you are praying for someone who is ill or struggling, then you are carrying them with you and chances are you are more prone to help and support them when they need it. You hope the best for them, and you are more likely to be a source of support for them when they need it.  

Are you praying for your church?  

In a few weeks, like many churches, we will do the annual Pledge Card thing where they ask those who are a part of the church to turn in a small card with some info on it that indicates how they plan to support their church in the future. But before they do that, I hope they do something first. I hope they pray for their church. Pray for the work that it does and what its future might include.  

Carry your church with you. Your church doesn't need a lamp or a Magic 8 Ball, but your church does need people who care about those who make up that community and the important work that they do. As you pray for your church, may it change you. May it bring about a greater awareness of what your church does and how vital it is to the community and those who are a part of it.

Prayer has the ability to change our priorities when we allow it to. If we pray about something, it is important to us, it matters to us and others, and when we do that, we begin to let God reshape and mold the things that we hold dear into things that really matter. It can be scary, but overtime it helps us discover, or rediscover, what's really important.

So, what are you praying for?

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Chris

Last Published: October 9, 2019 12:35 PM